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Game #50 Preview: Jackets meet the Maple Leafs at home

Let’s keep the momentum rolling.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday, February 22, 2021 - 7:00 EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
TV: Bally Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Pension Plan Puppets

Toronto Maple Leafs (32-14-3, 67 points, 3rd Atlantic, 6th East)

at

Columbus Blue Jackets (25-23-1, 51 points, 5th Metro, 10th East)

After a hearty, exciting 7-3 win on Sunday evening over the Buffalo Sabres, the Blue Jackets are looking to keep their momentum going strong against a better team - the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Compared to the Sabres, the Leafs have a .684 points percentage over the Sabres’ measly .392. And the challenges won’t be letting up - the Jackets have an action packed week, playing the Panthers in Florida on Thursday, Carolina on Friday, and the Penguins at home on Sunday. Busy week! A strong showing tonight against a solid Maple Leafs team will be an essential first step to a successful end of February for the Blue Jackets.

Player to Watch

Jean-Francois Berube

Again! J-F Berube had an excellent game on Sunday, shaking off the rust after a four-year hiatus from NHL goalkeeping. After the game, Berube remarked the night was off to a challenging start because he wasn’t seeing many pucks at first - he said he would have preferred more action to start with. That makes one of us! But he stepped up to the challenge and was able to notch a win in front of his wife and young son, Cayden.

He’s in goal again tonight, with Jet Greaves as backup - Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo are both still out. Feeling extra grateful for the CBJ’s goalkeeping depth on days like today, although I’d still like to see Jeff Svoboda in as EBUG.

Jackets Notes

Jake Bean has been skating with the team for the past two days, but Larsen still does not have an ETA for his return. Alexandre Texier has not resumed skating with the team yet.

This week will be a challenge, but alternate captain Zach Werenski says it’s a challenge for which the team is prepared. “We know we can play with these teams. It’s doing it for a full 60 consistently and not having breakdowns and turnovers, just playing the right way. It should be exciting for us. We should be excited as a group for this.”

The Other Bench

The Maple Leafs are coming down to Columbus hot off a bad loss to a bad team (sorry Montreal) - losing 5-2 last night in a bright spot in the season for the Canadiens. Let’s capitalize while they’re down!

Season Series

12/7/2021 CBJ 4 @ TOR 5
2/22/2022 TOR @ CBJ
3/7/2022 TOR @ CBJ

Stats

Toronto Columbus
3.55 (4) GPG 3.27 (11)
2.78 (10) GAPG 3.65 (31)
31.1% (1) PP% 17.2% (23)
84.8% (5) PK% 80.4% (14)
53.3% (6) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 48.0% (21)
52.6% (8) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 47.0% (25)
8.5 (10) 5v5 Shooting % 9.5 (6)
.913 (26) 5v5 Save % .904 (30)
Auston Matthews, 33 G Leader Boone Jenner, 21
Morgan Rielly, 37 A Leader Jakub Voracek, 32
Auston Matthews, 59 P Leader Boone Jenner, 39
Wayne Simmonds, 47 PIM Leader Andrew Peeke, 32
14-9-2 Home / Road 13-10-1
6-4-0 Last 10 7-3-0

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Patrik Laine Boone Jenner Jakub Voracek
Gus Nyquist Cole Sillinger Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Max Domi Sean Kuraly Yegor Chinakhov
Brendan Gaunce Jack Roslovic Justin Danforth
Zach Werenski Andrew Peeke
Vladislav Gavrikov Adam Boqvist
Gavin Bayreuther Dean Kukan
Jean-Francois Berube
Jet Greaves
Toronto Maple Leafs
Michael Bunting Auston Matthews Mitch Marner
Alexander Kerfoot John Tavares William Nylander
Ilya Mikheyev David Kampf Ondrej Kase
Pierre Engvall Jason Spezza Wayne Simmonds
Morgan Rielly T.J. Brodie
Jake Muzzin Timothy Liljegren
Travis Dermott Justin Holl
Jack Campbell
Petr Mrazek